October 11, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Torre Scratches Nose, Blinks, Clings to Shreds of Dignity

It’s Championship Series time! As the Twins take on the Yankees in the ALCS, I predict… oh wait, that’s right. I’m not making playoff predictions anymore.

So, as I’m sure you’ve heard unless you’ve been asleep for the last 24 hours, in which case I’m jealous, it’s official: Joe Torre’s back with the Yankees next year. I think this is a good thing, but man, if that’s what was gonna happen we all just could have skipped the last three days of screeching speculation, huh? At the risk of sounding naïve, I’m a bit taken aback by the sudden vitriol unleashed on Torre. Not that there aren’t plenty of valid reasons to argue that it’s time for a new manager (to say nothing of some serious roster changes, but with contracts as they are, that'll be tough), but some of the articles that came out this week were hitting pretty low – particularly given that no one voiced any of these criticisms until it looked like he was gone. I mean, hey, no one’s a bigger fan of negativity than me, but I still found the bloodthirstiness a little disconcerting. I guess that’s just the nature of the beast.

Anyway. Mets fans are pissed that the Torre saga is stealing their playoff headlines, and they have a point. I was at Shea today for the workout day, and the Mets are in a pretty damn good mood; it's kind of infectious. I still don’t know if confidence and/or chemistry actually matter in terms of helping a team win, but if they do those guys are in good shape. Still – everyone agrees the lesson from the recent… thing that happened in Detroit… is that pitching is, indeed, everything. Right? In which case, I'd worry that the Mets may run into some trouble; not so much with St. Louis, outside of Carpenter, but in the World Series, if they get there.

Then again, everything seems to be going right for them right now – and you need some breaks, just ask the ’96 Yankees, or the ’86 Mets for that matter – so maybe they’ll find a way. No predictions though! You hear me, baseball gods? I’m just idly speculating! Nothing to see here!

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